BELLEVILLE, ON, June 17 /CNW/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC), a
research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company,
presented data regarding its E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine at the 6th
Congress of Medical Microbiology - Mikromed 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia last
weekend. The presentation was made by Dr. Dragan Rogan, Vice-President,
Bioniche Animal Health Research & Development.
The Bioniche vaccine is the world's first vaccine that may be used as an
on-farm intervention to reduce the amount of E. coli O157:H7 shed by cattle.
Bioniche and its collaborators have been moving the vaccine towards commercial
availability for eight years and it has been extensively tested at the
University Nebraska-Lincoln, with efficacy results now being published in
peer-reviewed scientific journals, most recently, the Journal of Food
Protection, in November, 2007.
In his presentation, Dr. Rogan summarized numerous studies that have been
completed with the Bioniche vaccine over the last five years involving more
than 30,000 cattle. It has been identified that approximately 60% of cattle
have more than 20% prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in the summer months, while
only 10% have this level of prevalence in winter. The results of studies
conducted with the Bioniche E. coli O157:H7 vaccine indicate that winter
shedding levels can be approximated by vaccinating summer-fed cattle. "This
establishes proof-of-concept for vaccination as a useful pre-harvest
intervention against E. coli O157:H7," said Dr. Rogan. "Vaccination of an
entire feedlot will have a dramatic effect on E. coli cycling in the feedlot
and, over time, has the potential to decrease the environmental load and
subsequent re-infection with each successive cycle."
Food recalls due to E. coli O157:H7 contamination continue to be a
concern in beef, produce and prepared food. On-farm interventions to reduce
the shedding of E. coli O157:H7 by cattle, such as vaccination, may assist in
reducing the potential for food and water contamination and the resulting
human illnesses and deaths.
Approximately 100,000 cases of human infection with the E. coli O157:H7
organism are reported each year in North America. 2% to 7% of those people
develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease characterized by kidney
failure (in recent outbreaks, this percentage has risen to as high as 16%).
Five percent of HUS patients die, many of them children and senior citizens,
whose kidneys are more sensitive to damage.
In addition to being infected by contaminated food or water, individuals
can become infected from E. coli O157:H7 by visiting animal exhibits. Petting
zoos, fairs, and agricultural exhibits provide many possible routes of
transmission for E. coli. Direct animal contact is the obvious route, but
contact with contaminated products (e.g., sawdust, shavings, soiled clothing
or shoes) can also lead to human infection.
The E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine will be manufactured in the Bioniche
production facility in Belleville, Ontario, Canada where a two-year,
$25 million expansion is taking place, supported by the Ontario and Canadian
governments. Vaccine supply will be limited during this manufacturing
About the E. coli O157:H7 Cattle Vaccine
This vaccine received international recognition in September, 2007 by the
Animal Pharm Industry Excellence Awards as the best new veterinary product for
livestock globally. The vaccine has been developed by a strategic alliance
formed in 2000 between the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Alberta
Research Council (ARC), the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine & Infectious
Disease Organization (VIDO), and Bioniche, which holds the rights for
worldwide commercialization of the vaccine. The vaccine prevents the E. coli
O157:H7 bacteria from attaching to the intestines of vaccinated cattle,
thereby reducing their reproduction within the animal, and reducing the amount
of bacteria that can be released through cattle manure in the environment.
More than 30,000 cattle have been involved in clinical testing of the vaccine
over the past five years.
About Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.
Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven
Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development,
manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary products for human and animal
health markets worldwide. The fully-integrated company employs approximately
200 skilled personnel and has three operating divisions: Human Health, Animal
Health, and Food Safety. The Company's primary goal is to develop proprietary
cancer therapies supported by revenues from marketed products in human and
animal health. Bioniche has been named one of Canada's Top Ten Life Sciences
Companies for 2008. For more information, please visit www.Bioniche.com.
Except for historical information, this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation
regarding future events. These forward-looking statements involve risk and
uncertainties, which may cause, but are not limited to, changing market
conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the
establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products and
pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory
approval process, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's
ongoing quarterly and annual reporting.
For further information:
For further information: Jennifer Shea, Corporate Communications,
Investor & Government Relations Director, Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.,
Telephone: (613) 966-8058, Cell: (613) 391-2097, Jennifer.Shea@Bioniche.com